Name, Position and Team at SRLP: Andy Escobar, Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps (RRASC) Intern, Movement Building Team
What school do you go to/what school did you go to? The University of Texas at Austin
What are you studying? I’m graduating in December with a B.A. in Latin American Studies, a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies, and a B.S. in Radio-Television-Film. I’m also going to receive three certificates in Latin@ Media Studies, Native American & Indigenous Studies, and LGBTQ/Sexuality Studies. All this is funny because I actually really hate academia.
What do you do to relax / have fun? Eat plenty of vegetarian friendly carbs, watch Netflix/Hulu, go dancing, and chill out with friends.
What is your favorite meal to cook? I love to make pasta when I can, any type of pasta.
Favorite animals? Seahorses are one of my favorite animals because of the fact that the males hold the babies and I see that as symbolic of being a parent. I want more than anything to be a parent to children. I also just love aquatic animals in general. Marine life is so beautiful and majestic to me.
If you have pets, do they do anything funny? I have a Chihuahua named Sirena (‘mermaid’ in Spanish), and sometimes she likes to run super fast around in circles all by herself. She also likes to put her paws in my face…
Quirky facts about you? I once saved 9 baby opossums and got filmed by BBC for Animal Planet, I have yet to know if I made it on TV though.
What made you most excited about coming to SRLP? I am just super stoked to be surrounded by so many rad queer and trans people who are committed to liberation. It’s really healing to be in the same space as people who I admire and look up to in so many ways and have dreamed of meeting.
What does one aspect of your utopia look like? In my utopia, people can eat whatever food they want whenever they want and as much as they want of it. Food will be super accessible and no one will have to pay for it. It will all be created with love and care so it is good to our bodies and souls.
How do you plan to work towards liberation in the future? I am particularly passionate about media justice work. I hope to become a filmmaker that uses film/television as a medium for social change. I want to tell stories that are about marginalized people who have been erased and silenced by media. I hope to have science fiction and drama films that help envision a world without capitalism, heteropatriarchy, and white supremacy. I want to become a screenwriter/director and have a company/coalition that provides resources to underrepresented filmmakers and centers media justice work.
What is a way(s) that you enjoy challenging gender stereotypes? I like to dress in a lot of florals, I have my eyebrow pierced, and I wear tons of bright colors/patterns. I once heard, “We need to save masculinity from patriarchy” and it is something that I try to carry with me as I attempt to undo the violence, harm, and oppressiveness of masculinity in my body. I am also not afraid of being vulnerable and tender as it is traditionally associated with femininity.
Name, Position and Team at SRLP: Sophia Gurulé, Legal Intern, Immigrant Justice Project – Direct Services Team.
What school do you go to/what school did you go to? Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School/Fordham University
What are you studying? Law, with a focus on civil rights, immigrant rights, and prisoner’s rights
What do you do to relax /have fun? Having a meal or a drink with my friends and family, yoga, reading, and watching Netflix or HBO!
What is your favorite meal to cook? Not necessarily a meal, but my favorite thing to make is flour tortillas because my grandmother taught me. Also because they are delicious.
Favorite animals? Elephants (Republicans give them a bad reputation, but they’re so cute).
If you have pets, do they do anything funny? My two roommates have a very small French bulldog named Eleanor, and she is a total diva who eats all of our toilet paper.
Quirky facts about you? I am a proud Chicana-feminist from Indiana who has lived in New York City for the past seven years. For me being Chicana means living in two worlds at the same time, and inherently opens your heart to nuanced and individualized experiences that are often considered “The Other.”
What made you most excited about coming to SRLP? SRLP represents exactly why I went to law school – to dismantle and eradicate systems of oppression with an intersectional understanding that discrimination based on gender, race, class, sexual orientation, etc. interact in conjunction rather than separately. Perhaps the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house, but I believe the law can be an important tool in supporting and uplifting organizers, communities, and social movements.
What does one aspect of your utopia look like? A world where communities of color, trans folks, and women have the right to self-determination without fear and violent consequences.
How do you plan to work towards liberation in the future? Social justice lawyering. Growing in and practicing love, patience, and understanding towards others and myself.
What is a way(s) that you enjoy challenging gender stereotypes? “Mujer — Ni sumisa, ni devota, te quiero libre, linda, loca” — Whether that’s by openly and adamantly challenging straight cis white men in law school classroom discussions; practicing self-love; wearing bolo ties and traditionally “masculine” clothes one day and then dresses and traditionally “feminine” clothes the next day. There are numerous ways to challenge gender stereotypes!
Name, Position and Team at SRLP: Kacy Jones, Legal Intern, Prisoner Justice Project – Direct Services Team
What school do you go to/what school did you go to? Lewis & Clark Law School
What are you studying? Law with a focus on civil rights
What do you do to relax / have fun? I like to read, watch movies and TV, listen to music, go for hikes, travel, and cook.
What is your favorite meal to cook? Nutella stuffed French toast with bacon and hashbrowns with cheese
Favorite animals? I like squirrels, white rabbits, foxes, and cats.
If you have pets, do they do anything funny? Sometimes my cat Waffles will pick up a toy, chirp a lot, and parade around the apartment making sure everyone knows that she got the toy.
Quirky facts about you? I worked at Disney World.
What made you most excited about coming to SRLP? I was most excited about working to create positive change in an area that I am very passionate about.
What does one aspect of your utopia look like? It would be a world where everyone is very respectful and polite.
How do you plan to work towards liberation in the future? By continuing to use my legal skills in conjunction with activism.
What is a way(s) that you enjoy challenging gender stereotypes? I challenge gender stereotypes by affirming my identity as a trans woman.
Name, Position and Team at SRLP: Keanu Velez, Legal Intern, Self-Determination Project – Direct Services Team
What school do you go to/what school did you go to? I have transferred twice, so I have attended a total of three different higher education institutions. I started at Borough of Manhattan Community College. After one semester there, I transferred to UMass Amherst, which was far too expensive as an out-of-state student. Finally, I transferred to Binghamton University where I am approaching my senior year.
What are you studying? I am majoring in Human Development.
What do you do to relax / have fun? I enjoy playing pool. I love music. I like to play/watch basketball. I also love coffee shops and coffee.
What is your favorite meal to cook? My favorite meal to cook is a tie between two meals: Arepas with cheese and diablitos – extra greasy with enough smoke to cause the smoke detector to go off – and arroz con gandules with a chuleta (should also get extra smokey) and a salad (with or without the salad honestly… just to be sorta healthy and add color to the plate).
Favorite animals? I like baby animals. Puppies and kittens. Elephants are dope.
Quirky facts about you? I sing and dance in the shower way more than I ever will in public… but isn’t that everyone?
What made you most excited about coming to SRLP? I cannot lie. I was most excited to be in the same office as Zahyr. I hope some of Zah’s excellence rubs off on me. Dapper. Dapper.
What does one aspect of your utopia look like? Within my Utopia, the NYPD stops beating people in the street and shooting unarmed Black folks.
How do you plan to work towards liberation in the future? Well if liberation starts from within, I think I plan on challenging myself to love myself and to be myself with no hesitation and without being discouraged by any type of social/societal norms that make me uncomfortable (if that makes sense). In terms of my commitment to my community, I enjoy working with youth, so I’ll continue to do so along with whatever else I end up doing.
What is a way(s) that you enjoy challenging gender stereotypes? I painted my nails once. Also, I try to avoid being a hyper-violent man. I feel like that is a big part of masculinity that goes unchecked all the time.